'Green' countries list: Government announces where people can holiday without quarantine after 17 May

Watch: Grant Shapps announces 'cautious approach' to reopening international travel

Portugal is among the limited number of places on the government’s long-awaited “green list” of holiday destinations.

At a Downing Street press conference on Friday evening, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced there will be 12 “green” countries and territories people in England can visit from 17 May without needing to quarantine on their return.

Shapps said the government was being "necessarily cautious", adding: "We must make sure the countries we reconnect with are safe.”

It's part of the third stage of the government’s road map for easing coronavirus restrictions, in which foreign travel will be permitted through a new traffic light system.

Here is the full list of 'green' countries and territories

  • Portugal

  • Gibraltar

  • Israel

  • Brunei

  • Iceland

  • Faroe Islands

  • Falkland Islands

  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

  • Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • Singapore

However, it does not necessarily mean people in England will automatically be able to go on holiday to these places from 17 May.

It will also depend on the travel rules imposed by each country and territory. For example, the likes of Australia, New Zealand or Singapore are currently closed to UK tourists.

Shapps also said the government "will not hesitate to act fast and withdraw green status" if any green destination sees a surge in cases, or a new variant.

A far greater number of countries are on the “amber” list, which involves self-isolation for at least five days upon return to England, as well as taking two tests.

The most popular European destinations with UK holidaymakers – including Spain, Italy, France and Greece – are on this list.

The “red” list, meanwhile, will continue to require an 11-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps gives a virtual press conference inside the new Downing Street Briefing Room in central London on May 7, 2021. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Grant Shapps announces the traffic light system for foreign travel at Friday's Downing Street press conference. (Tolga Akmen/pool)

Referring to the government's "necessary caution", Shapps pointed to the UK's low infection and high vaccination rates: “We in this country have managed to construct a fortress against COVID. But the disease is still prevalent in other parts of the world, most notably at the moment in India.

“In fact, more new cases of COVID have been diagnosed around the world in the last seven days than at any time since the pandemic began.”

He added the lists will be reviewed "very regularly". The government will consider factors such as a country's vaccination and infection rates, as well as new variants of the virus.

The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not set dates for the restart of foreign holidays.

Watch: How England is leaving lockdown